Sunday, April 19, 2009

Respect your mother...

Mother Earth, that is.

I was mildly interested in environmentalism before I had kids. But being a mama changes so much. Now I'm passionate about our environment.

I want to learn more about sustainable agriculture, my carbon footprint, protecting wildlife and pollution issues. I want to buy more organic (foods, fabrics, etc.) and more natural products. I want to visit a landfill to see the damage first-hand. I want to visit a recycling center to see the recovery begin to take place.

But it's not for's for my kids and their future kids.

When I started making a list of some of the things my family does to help the planet, I noticed that some items were more progressive and maybe considered alternative outside of a "green" community (or state like California). I'll get to those in a post later this week.

But also on the list were what I would consider "no brainers," things that hopefully are more commonplace. The best part about the "no brainers" is that in doing something good for the planet, often I am also doing something healthier for my family and saving money.

The "no brainers"
  • use energy-saver light bulbs
  • choose an environmentally-friendly product over one that is not
  • turn off TVs (my husband needs a bit of help with this one) and lights when not in the room
  • clean the lint trap of your dryer
  • set heater/air-conditioner on a timer
  • machine wash your clothes in cold water
  • turn off faucets when not in use
  • collect rain water to water plants
  • buy organic as often as possible
  • choose a product with as little packaging as possible
  • donate items to thrift stores
  • turn unusable old clothes into rags
  • reuse tissue paper and ribbon from gifts
  • turn my kids' abundant artwork into greeting cards
Over the next several days I'll throw out some other ideas that you might be interested in implementing with your family. And I'd love to hear what you do that isn't on my lists.

From the books I read to the household cleaners I buy, I'm thinking about the environment. I am by no means an expert. And I could be doing more. But little by little, day by day, I learn new things and take better care of our planet and my family.

Now, go show your mother some respect!


  1. AMEN!!! Enjoying your blog immensely :) every little bit helps!

  2. Very cool, I look forward to your posts this week :)

  3. Yes, MOM! LOL! I love these husband needs some help with turning the water off when he's brushing his teeth!

    I love that my kids can show me more, too. And that they remind us to turn things off and recycle! I'm slowly doing my part...but have so much MORE I can offer! Thanks for doing this! Have a great day!

  4. Thank you for this information. I am very interested in going a bit more green. I love my reusable shopping bags:)

  5. Thanks for sharing. Those are really good tips.

  6. Great tips! Surprisingly, I do most of those things!

    I'll be looking forward to everything you have to share this week!

  7. Must be a man thing... mine has trouble turning the TV off too.

    Great list!

  8. Since you're the "California girl" and I'm the
    "Wasteland girl," I was pleased to see that I do alot of what you listed! YAY! I can't wait to read your other posts about this. We do make a difference in our environment. Let's make is a positive one.

  9. I use most of your ideas already. But I hate the energy-saver light bulbs. They are just not as bright. And the disposing of them is so dangerous :( But I do use them. I'm trying in a lot of little ways!

  10. We do many of those things too!

    We also compost all organic waste, as well as recycle all bottles, plastics (hard and soft), metals, paper and cardboard.

    We've started using more earth-friendly, re-usable shopping bags. And although it's not ideal, we DO re-use all our plastic grocery bags as garbage/waste bags, rather than purchasing new garbage bags.

    My plan when we move to California is to purchase a solar panel big enough to provide our electrical needs. I SO want to live to see the power meter go backwards...

  11. Hi Carey! I'm Mary, visiting from SITS. I've been trying to visit the person's blog who posts on roll call just ahead of me every day and today that was you!

    Isn't it funny how becoming a mother, and well, just getting older really, changes the way that we view things? Some good tips there - if we all make a few small changes it really makes a difference in the big picture. Sometimes I don't think people realize that.

    We don't have a Target, but, a new and HUGE shopping center is going up a few miles away right off of the interstate and Target is one of the the main anchor stores going in. It's actually our first Target here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, can you believe that? There has been chatter and excitement about this since right after Hurricane Katrina! I'm sure there will be a few addicts born out of this. Hmmm.... good idea - I think a giveaway will be in order to celebrate the grand opening of our first!

    Well, just wanted to say hello. Have a great week!


  12. great advice! looking forward to seeing the rest of the list

  13. i don't think of myself as an enviromentalist, but you know there are a lot of things that save money AND help the environment: like using cloth diapers (i do do this), making your own baby food (and reusing the jars of the premade babyfood), and even breastfeeding (if you can!). weird, but true

  14. Good advice. I am trying so hard to be more considerate of the environment and of my local growers (by buying local). And now, we are thinking about solar energy. My computer, however, is always on.

  15. Visiting from SITS! Great blog. Love today's post. :)

  16. Good for you.
    Great post.

    Stopping bu via SITS to say hello

  17. Apparently my six year old likes to conserve water by not flushing the toilet after she uses it. Does that count?

  18. this is what i need!! im proud to say that i have the "no brainers" down pat! woo hoo.. i don't think it is enough though and I want to do more.. but am not sure what.. so ur next few posts will be great for me.. my 10yo is getting a homework pass from his teacher for each night he doesn't watch tv this week. I told him to go online and look up anything education instead.. and he was like "Ma, that defeats the purpose. The purpose is to not use electricity."

  19. Hey Carey! So great to here from you! Thanks so much for the kind words.

    We are working on doing the same thing. Our first step was the light bulbs about 3 years ago. We only watch TV at night now instead of having it on all day. There are many things that we have changed, but those are just a few.

    Looking forward to learning more from you as well!


  20. Awesome stuff, in addition to being good for the environment, doing most of these things will also save you money!

  21. Maybe we should give our hubby's a 101 training course on how to save energy. My hubba bubba could really use some good tips, well, that is if he could remember them.

    Love this post. Such great ideas. Way to respect Mother!

  22. Fantastic Ideas! Thanks so much, I'm off to read the rest.

  23. My kids MUST get better about turning off their tvs. They do a great job with the lights, but always leave the tv on!

  24. All good ideas... thanks for the reminders!

  25. Turning your kid's artwork into greeting cards! That's wonderful. I usually let Monson color all over cards and wrapping paper anyway, why not use his pre-colored paper instead? Love it.

  26. I make my own household cleansers w/distilled water, white vinegar, and orange or lemon essential oil. Also baking soda is great for sinks and toilets.

  27. Wonderful post! I do pretty much of all of that. I need to work on the rainwater though, I really want to start collecting that for things.

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